Also known as God’s Friday, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus. The rituals marking the occasion begin on Thursday with a feast representing the last supper, and continue till Sunday. Good Friday is an extremely important day for Goa’s Christians and is carried out with great enthusiasm.
Good Friday falls toward the end of the holy week, sometime between 20th March and 23rd April. Churches in Goa are lavishly decorated and thousands of people converge from all over the country to take part in the events.
History of Good Friday
Centuries ago, Easter Sunday was the only holy day. But by the fourth century, the days preceding Easter were also pronounced holy. The word Good in Good Friday means salvation. The day is known as Great Friday by the Eastern Orthodox Church.
A must visit place in Goa during the holy week is the church of Immaculate Conception where people from around the state gather to take part in the event. The afternoon sermon describes how Jesus took upon himself the pain of the world. There are sermons in Konkani besides those in English.
People dressed in colorful attire sing songs and seek the blessings of the almighty. After the sermons, the rood is uncovered for the benefit of those present. A wooden cross with an image of Jesus is taken in a procession through the streets of Panaji.
There are people participating as well as those watching from the roadside, but all in a somber mood. A band playing solemn music accompanies the procession on its way through the streets and back to the church.
There are processions in every church of Goa but the ones in Panaji draw the largest number of people.